Tag Archives: Alton Old Home day

Alton, New Hampshire, Fireworks — July 3, 2019.

by Anura Guruge


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It was the typical, pop-pop-pop, hand-fired July 3rd fireworks, on the eve of the 4th, on Alton Bay. Beautiful evening for fireworks. Warm and hardly a cloud in the sky. It was fairly busy. Decent crowd. We watched/photographed from our usual place — i.e., the bridge overlooking the Bay. One change from the normal — we went early and had dinner at JP China beforehand. We have done that once before also. Always fun and you get prime parking.

Alton does noticeably better when it come to the “Old Home Day” fireworks in August. That is just how things are in Alton — in terms of how they spend their fireworks budget.

It was good. In my book fireworks are always good — even if they are not spectacular.

I am pretty sure that we had more crowds than the year before.

First time shooting fireworks with my 2.5-month old Canon EOS RP. Still getting the hang of it. Had some issues, but managed to get some decent ones.


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by Anura Guruge

Alton, New Hampshire Fireworks — July 3, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


NO post-processing whatsoever.

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It was the usual mediocre July 3rd fireworks, to mark July 4th, which is what us long term locals have come to expect from Alton.  Alton does noticeably better when it come to the “Old Home Day” fireworks in August. That is just how things are in Alton — in terms of how they spend their fireworks budget.

The 2018 July 3rd Alton fireworks did NOT deviate from that norm. They were not spectacular — just a halfhearted firework show. BUT, in my book any firework show is a firework show. As usual there was nothing to write home about — but just enough for this blog post. Another beautiful evening. Goldilocks. The weather was just perfect.

For the second year in a row it was not that crowded. That worries me.


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by Anura Guruge

Alton, New Hampshire “Old Home Day” Fireworks — August 12, 2017.

by Anura Guruge


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Alton Old Home Day fireworks Anura Guruge Sony August 12 2017 a7II New Hampshire





Alton’s Saturday, August 12, 2017 fireworks for “Old Home Day“.

It was very strange. A bit eerie. There was NO ONE there. It was empty. I kid you not. At the height of the fireworks, say 9:10 pm, there were 11 people on ‘the bridge’. 11 people. No traffic. No cars. Only two vehicles parked on ‘Bay Hill Road’! It was STRANGE.

Yes, a thunderstorm had been forecast and ‘they’ had postponed the concert until Sunday. But, the weather was fine and the rain (sans storm) held out till past 11pm.

The fireworks were ‘OK’ (as any firework show is) BUT did not live up to expectations or past performances (and we have been going to these fireworks for 10 years). Usually ‘this’ the ‘Old Home Day’ show is the BIGGER of Alton’s two firework displays — the other for July 4th.

The show lasted 20 minutes; 90% of the time it being one slow firework at a time — hand fired, laboriously and lethargically.


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by Anura Guruge

Alton, New Hampshire Fireworks — July 3, 2017.

by Anura Guruge


NO post-processing whatsoever.

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Attribution WILL be enforced.

Anura Guruge Sony a6500 Alton flowers July 2017 New Hampshire






Alton’s July 3rd fireworks, to mark July 4th, have never been known to be outstanding. Alton does noticeably better when it come to the “Old Home Day” fireworks in August. That is just how things are in Alton — in terms of how they spend their fireworks budget.

The 2017 July 3rd Alton fireworks lived up to their reputation. Nothing to write home about. They were ‘OK’, but not special or spectacular. Even the finale lacked pizazz. But, it was OK. Some good ones. Beautiful day, great evening. Goldilocks. The weather was just perfect.

We had relatives over from D.C. and they wanted to take us to dinner. So, we decided to go to JP China in Alton. That worked out very well. Mary, the owner, was checking the parking. It was all good and cool. Might do the JP China routine for future Alton fireworks. Great location.


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by Anura Guruge

“Brandy’s Writers Cramp” Blog Of Aspiring Alton, N.H. Author Brandy DiFauda.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


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++++ Check Category ‘books for most of my other posts about books and authorship >>>>


brandyblog1a

Click to access Brandy’s blog.


I met Brandy at last Thursday’s “Bucket List” writers group at Alton’s Gilman Library. Holly Brown our Alton librarian had been urging me for month’s that I should put in an appearance. I just had some time that day so I dropped in.

Brandy is nearly finished with her first book, a work of fiction. I have nothing but admiration for people that can write fiction. I haven’t tried as yet but I know that I will struggle if I try my art at that form. But I plan to try down the road IF I have enough time. 

Brandy appears to write quite a bit and is keen to share her writing with others. Hence the blog. It has both fiction & nonfiction work. Check it out. Some interesting stuff.

I am glad I can give her the publicity. I always try to help other authors irrespective of their status as an author or their stature in the field. I was always lucky in my life that people seem to appear from the woodwork to help me at various points in my life. I know, for a fact, that I would not have been able to write, or at least write like I do, if not for Dr. Tom Westerdale a U.S. Vietnam exile who taught Computer Science at Birkbeck College, University of London, when I was doing my Master’s, and for reasons that I never understood at all, took it upon himself, totally voluntarily and way outside of his assigned teaching responsibilities, to be my ‘shadow’ tutor when I was writing my dissertation. I was 25 and since I was 16 my life had revolved around computers and having fun. The last English class I took was when I was 15 — though I did win the English prize (per the British system) that year, and that amused me because everybody else in my class was either British or American, and English definitely at the time was my second language. Dr. Westerdale, a lovely gentle man, one of the cleverest people I have met (and I have met and worked with quite a few), used to brutalize my then writing. He would spend about an hour every Thursday afternoon going through my writing. He would sit on the floor of his spacious, book littered study with my manuscript in his hand. I would sit wherever that allowed me to take notes. He would read each of my sentences out loud. Then he would say: “so what you are saying is …”. Without fail he always managed to find an alternate interpretation to what I had said. I would, of course, argue that that was not what I had said — at all, at all. He, a gifted intellectual, far, far cleverer than me, would push back. He would laugh at me. Given that I am a bit slow on the uptake it took me a few Thursday afternoon’s before I finally got it sorted out. He wanted me to be precise in my writing. He didn’t teach me how to be precise or how to write. My intentionally intensely idiosyncratic style is all my doing. What dear Dr. Westerdale taught me was that you can be and as such you should be very precise when you write in English. It was a gift that has served me well. Dr. Westerdale was but one. I think of him often. Sometimes I write a sentence and my mind drifts back to his study in the late 1970s, both of seated on the floor. I can hear his voice asking me if this was really what I meant to say. Invariably I go back and rewrite the sentence. I dedicated one of my books, with gratitude, to Dr. Tom Westerdale. All of us would do well in life to have a Dr. Westerdale for help.

Brandy used to be a professional photographer. This is one of her pictures.


CW Fencing

Click to ENLARGE. By Brandy DiFauda and it is HER copyright.


“Brit Bits” in Rye, Another Place For British Car Care & Shopping In New Hampshire.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
MGB returns from Steve Barlow.
>>
Steve Barlow at Christmas
>> Tree lighting.

>>
MGB goes to Steve Barlow.
>>
Green MGB — Sep. 14, 2014.

++++ Search ‘MGB’, ‘MG’, ‘Stag’, ‘Jensen’ & ‘cars’ for many other posts >>>>


britbitsrye4511a

Click to access the “Brit Bits” Website. The greyish Morris Minor in the Sales section brings back memories. Ceylon was full of Morris Minors when I lived there. Never owned one. Don’t think I ever drove one. But have been in plenty. Love that red MGB at the top. But I can see it is WAY OUTSIDE my pay grade.

britbits545121a

I have owned both of these cars, in these very same colors in the UK — though my Red 1977 Spitfire 1500 did not have the ugly rubber U.S. bumpers. Owned the 3rd but last TR7 built. Silver gray. Registration read MGM 327X. Kind of neat since I was a product manager for the IBM 327X line. Click to ENLARGE.


I can’t honestly say that I was aware of ‘Brit Bits’ in Rye, N.H. If I was I would have been checking their Sales page 3 times a day to see what they had.

Steve Barlow brought them to my attention and told me that I should get to know them. That was very kind of Steve. Appears that they provided Steve with a wiper ‘head’ that he required to fix our Green 1968 MGB. I have, as you can see, checked them out.

Funny about Rye and Hampton. I think to many of us in the Lakes Region Rye might as well be in Massachusetts. We go to Portsmouth quite often — twice since Thanksgiving. But we only make it to Hampton or Rye once a year at best.

I will, though they appear to have nothing in my bargain basement price range, keep an eye on their Sales page. Though I have owned a MG Midget in the U.S. I am, I am sure, a Triumph person. In addition to having owned 4 Triumphs, and a Triumph 1250 was my first car, British Leyland was one of my favorite customers when I was the Customer Support Manager at ITT. That I solved a thorny technical problem that had plagued them for months by working the night shift in their data center and reading I/O traces had something to do with it. They liked me, I liked them. Great location north of the Midlands. Intrigued that they don’t sell Jags. As some folks know I will be in the market for not one BUT two Jags this coming Spring.


This was the work we had done on the 1968 MBG, first (and as yet only) time around, by Steve Barlow in Wolfeboro, N.H. Number of people have asked me exactly what I got done because I posted the pictures on the “MG Experience” forum. So here it is. To avoid blushes on all sides I conveniently took out the major prices. Those of you who own British cars in the U.S. will be able to estimate — pretty damn good. Plus, as some of you have sussed it out, as I get older, I use this blog as a memory aid. If I post something here I know I can always find it (and SEARCH helps) plus WordPress will guarantee that it will always be here.

Click to ENLARGE.


Devanee’s 1968 Green MGB Returns After Getting ‘The Treatment’ From British Car Expert Steve Barlow (Wolfeboro, N.H.).

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Steve Barlow at Christmas
>> Tree lighting.

>>
MGB goes to Steve Barlow
>>Nov. 2014.

>>
Green MGB — Sep. 14, 2014.

++++ Search ‘MGB’, ‘MG’, ‘Stag’, ‘Jensen’ & ‘cars’ for many other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.
The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.








As I outlined in this post this 1968 MGB roadster required quite a bit of work. I knew that when I bought it. We are real glad that one of our Clearlakes Chorale friends, Richard Hale (the photographer), told us about Steve Barlow of Wolfeboro, N.H., having seen in documentary about Steve on WMUR. Thank you Richard.

I had the MGB trailered to Steve’s place, Barlow & Company, on November 21, 2014. Steve, a Brit (like I), was going to work over it prior to Thanksgiving. But we hadn’t banked on the BIG snowstorm. So he had to keep the car till Monday, December 1, before we could pick it up (though we were fortunate enough to get a synopsis of what to expect when we serendipitously ran into Steve in Wolfeboro ahead of the Christmas Tree lighting on Saturday.

We picked up the girls from school and got to Barlow & Co. just past 3 pm. Steve gave us a rundown of all the work he had done. It needed a lot of work, but alas it still needs more. Yes, I knew it was a money pit when I got it — but I have done crazy things like this all my life. I should have learnt. This is my 5th British sports car and we won’t even talk about the Camaro Z28s, Firebirds and Corvettes. Part of it is nostalgia. If I just wanted another sports car it would have been much easier and cheaper in the long run to have just gone out and got a Camaro or Mustang convertible. But in my dotage I want to go back to having British cars.

Steve, from what I can see, wrought miracles on this 47 year old car. It starts first time, at least for now. Yes, I will need a new battery in Spring. It has wipers, the horns work, the directionals blink (and the stalk doesn’t flop about). Above all it has a New Hampshire inspection sticker. The car is now fully legal. Steve had to replace the fuel pump (with a solid state replica), redo the clutch hydraulics (though I need an ‘original’ master cylinder in Spring), repair the distributor and bunch of other stuff.

Compression on cylinder #1 is down. We knew that.

Devanee and I drove it back from Wolfeboro to Alton. It was fun. It goes OK. Doesn’t go very fast! But, then again as those that know me know I don’t drive fast. So it suits me. Would be nice if it had a bit more pep. I know that I am looking at a full engine rebuild somewhere in the future. Yes, it is like a spectre looming ahead of me …

Steve put in nearly 20 hours of work and being the gentleman he is didn’t charge me for all of that. For that I am relieved and grateful. Looks like I will have to get a fourth mortgage on this house to keep this car on the road. Steve wants me to put 93 Octane in it. Am I glad that gas prices are down.

So that is the story. I mothballed it when we got home. Took the dying battery out. Covered it up. Put a quilt over it to keep it warm. Maya barked at it because she has never seen a car wrapped up in a blanket. She can be a smart dog sometimes. I will take it out of hibernation once the snow has melted in the Spring of 2015 and the roads are dry. Will need a new water pump by then. And that master clutch cylinder. And a battery. But that is next year. I can’t think that far.

Thanks Mr. Barlow.


A photo montage, with music, of all the pictures we took on
this the FIRST Steve Barlow works on the Green MGB.

Click to access YouTube slideshow montage.

mgbstevetreat1montyt


Devanee’s 1968 Green MGB Is Delivered To British Car Expert, Steve Barlow, In Wolfeboro, N.H., For A Lot Of TLC.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Green MGB —
Sep. 14, 2014.
>> Yellow MG T in Gilford —
Aug. 24, 2014.
>>
1964 Red MGBAug. 30, 2014.

>> Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.
The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.


It is a family tradition. All the kids have had a sport car assigned to them before they turn 16 — so that they can have it when they get a license. Matthew got a Camaro Z28 (though he, alas, never got to get his hands on it, but that was outside of my control). Danielle got a 1995 Yellow Corvette convertible. She had it for a few weeks and sensibly traded it in for a brand new Ford Focus. Now it was Devanee’s turn. Because she hangs out with me so much she likes British cars. So this MGB is for her when she turns 16. She can trade it in and get a more practical car if she wants though, right now, she is adamant that she is going to keep. That is fine too.

Well, being a 1968, it needs some work. It wasn’t going to get fixed sitting in the garage. Though I can do some work on a car like this I am not into any of the ‘heavy’ stuff.

Multiple people told me about Steve Barlow of “Barlow & Company” in Wolfeboro, N.H. I drive by his place every time I go to Wolfeboro though I have never seen any British sports cars parked outside. It took me 6 weeks to get Steve to come and have a look at the car — even with me pleading that I was a fellow Brit. He is busy. Finally, this Wednesday, after some phone-tag he managed to get around. We arranged to have the car delivered today. That we have AAA helped though we had to pay for some of it. But, it wasn’t a bad deal. Thanks AAA. We definitely have got our money’s worth from them this year.

Steve has quite the operation. He is doing a FULL restoration of another 1968 British racing green MGB roadster. That is in much better shape than ours and will be amazing when it is done. It will also be worth quite a bit at that point. We can’t afford even a 1/4 restoration! Just want it so that it is safe, runs and has a sticker. Keeping our fingers crossed. Right now I don’t even have an estimate. Just a long list of what needs to be done. Just hoping that we don’t need an engine rebuild. It runs. Devanee and I drove it from Francestown to Alton, 62 miles. Well, I will keep you posted. 


1968 British Racing Green MGB In New Hampshire.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Yellow MG T in Gilford —
Aug. 24, 2014.
>>
1964 Red MGBAug. 30, 2014.

>> Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.
The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.


Click to access MORE pictures in a gallery.
Enjoy.

greenmgbmontage


Red, 1964 MGB Roadster, From Gilford, N.H.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Yellow MG T in Gilford —
Aug. 24, 2014.

>> Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.

This car is not mine! And the original claim that it was a 1962 was an error.

Only the pictures are my doing.

The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.